On September 22, 2017, Ethereum scalability protocol-turned-startup Raiden Network announced via its blog that it would crowdfund through a token offering (also called an ICO), news which received mixed reactions.
Raiden’s announcement inspired commentary from some members of the community, one of whom openly questioned the motivation behind Raiden's token offering in a reddit post. The post asks why Raiden developers don't simply utilize Ether for the protocol's functionality. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin took time to respond to users on the social media site to allay misconceptions about Raiden developers being paid by the Ethereum Foundation; they are not. Buterin also made clear that Raiden is not an Ethereum Foundation product.
In addition, Buterin said he would donate 100 percent of his advisor shares from two projects, OmiseGO and KyberNetwork, to either charity, second layer infrastructure funding for Ethereum, or a combination of the two.
(ii) used to privately fund Ethereum second-layer infrastructure (state channels, multisig wallets etc), or some combination of the two— Vitalik Buterin (@VitalikButerin) September 22, 2017
When asked if the Raiden announcement had anything to do with his decision to donate, Buterin gave an affirmative response.
Yes, also Nuco/Aion and hearing others thinking about it.— Vitalik Buterin (@VitalikButerin) September 22, 2017
Buterin’s brief tweetstorm also touched on other topics, namely his desire to help open-source infrastructure projects that are struggling to get funding, yet opt not to crowdfund with token offerings. As if to wag a finger at startups trying to ride his coattails, Buterin said the tweets were also prompted by rumors of other startups, such as creator of the Aion blockchain Nuco, which might do the same. Buterin recently clarified on Twitter that he is not an advisor to Aion, although he has supported Nuco’s Ethereum-related developments in the past.
Open source infrastructure projects currently are struggling to get funding without the ICO+token route; hopefully this can help— Vitalik Buterin (@VitalikButerin) September 22, 2017
While Buterin may disagree with the crowdfunding efforts Raiden has decided to pursue, he also expressed understanding.
I wish they didn't but I totally understand why they did and do not blame them. Hence (ii) as my small part in providing alternatives— Vitalik Buterin (@VitalikButerin) September 22, 2017